Welcome back folks. This blog is going to be hard for me to write and I can almost guarantee that I will rant for a minute somewhere in here. What follows is a personal recount of factual events, and I periodically express MY OWN OPINION. Keep that in mind. This is the part where I tell everyone about my first real life experience with emergency trauma involving a child. A child the same age as my oldest daughter. Emergency trauma involving a child my daughters age, at the hands of her mother…basically.
So, on Tuesday April 27th at about 10pm, Cali Stephen and I were on Our way to a club type situation to support another friend who was putting on a “night”:
We were dressed nicely-corset & tutus for me- Cali’s attire was of course His robes. We had to pick up another passenger before heading to the club so We hopped on Interstate 40 in Albuquerque and cruise-controlled along at a comfortable 80 mph (speed limit sign=75). We had the windows down and were all talking back and forth when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a group of motorcycles (crotch rockets really) flew by Us on both sides. The group of 10 bikes or so was easily going 130 to have passed Us like that. We didn’t even see them coming, they were just next to Us and gone so fast, swerving in and out of each other as if playing a game. After they all passed, We began discussing how dangerous that was and how stupid they must be and saying things like “they are gonna come up on someone who doesn’t see them and tries to change lanes” and other terrible situations that could present themselves here. During the tail end of that conversation, We have to brake quickly in front of a wall of brake lights We are approaching just after the I25 exit. Before We even get to where the cars are stopped, We pass by a motorcycle lying on its side and 3 people by the concrete barrier median and see another bike laid over a little further up the road and the rest of the bikes parking and dismounting to run back towards the others. We are not surprised something like this has happened. Cali pulls the car over on the shoulder and We get out to see if We can help. The both of Us have pretty extensive medical experience, but to be honest, We are expecting at least one dead person. No amount of medical experience can help dead. I call 911 as We jog over to them, and pass the bike…the front of the bike is somewhere else. It had flown somewhere decently far away We discover later. As We get closer, I hear the person on the ground screaming. Normal right? Wrong. I yelled over to them from the short distance We were keeping as We asked if We could help and spoke to 911. “Is that a fucking baby!!??” I screamed over. Cali took my phone and We ran closer. Nobody there knew what to do…it was chaos. Cali and I stepped in, one at each end of her to investigate the damage. At this point I don’t know how old this child is, but I do know what the inside of her foot looks like…bones, muscle, tendons, lots of blood and some rocks, grass and small debris. She has all her toes. Cali holding her head, encouraging her to lay still. Her helmet…her helmet was effed. I was scared of what her head looked like. I asked a few questions to better evaluate the situation. “how old is she?”
“Where are her parents?”
“Thats her mom, and this is her moms boyfriend.”
“Who was she riding with?”
This time all I get is a finger point towards the “mom” and bf. I was being answered by one of the fellow riders who had since approached. Most of the other riders were screaming at each other about what happened and what they were gonna say happened and various other absurdities. I call them absurdities because wtf are they yelling at each other for when this little girl is lying on the ground missing things on her body she previously had. I digress, the “mother” was inspecting her own self (as opposed to ensuring her daughter wasnt dying). The boyfriend was also concerning himself with the “mom”.
“What is her name? (no honey please lie down and be still)”
“I WANT MY HELMET OFF!”
“What is her name!?”
“Ellianna.” Ellianna. Pretty name. She wants her helmet off and will not take no for an answer. I have her foot and leg in my hands, holding pressure above her ankle to help stop the blood pouring out of the top of her foot. Her toenails are painted, and not even chipped, but the top of her foot… She was moving her arms and back trying to sit up. She seemed fine, but what do I know? She took her helmet off, with some help, and I could not believe what I saw. Her beautiful little head and face were perfectly fine…and tear free. Tear-freaking-free. She took one look at her left knee, which had been skinned pretty well through the hole that was torn in her jeans from the fall and slide, and freaked out. Oh honey, don’t look at your foot then…
“Just lay down sweetie, Im holding your foot still. I need you to just keep your head down, baby. Just rest. The ambulance is coming. I know it hurts, but you are gonna be just fine.”
She looked at Cali’s face…”are You an angel?” she asks Him. He of course says, “yes”.
I suddenly realize that all the fighting and yelling from the other riders has relocated to right next to Us…what is wrong with these people? Is her “mom” really just sitting over there?
“Please take your yelling away from Elliana, we should all just be very calm.” No change. “Please do that somewhere else.” A little louder now. Someone heard me, they walk a little further up the road. We are talking to her, asking her questions. We talk about watermelons. She still isn’t crying. While she talks to Cali and another female that got out of her car to help, I ask the boyfriend what happened. He says a car must have hit the back of the bike. There are 2 bikes laid over, and no cars involved in this incident…a car hitting one of them would be understandable, but seemingly unlikely in this particular situation. That was apparent even in the disarray. The way they were going in and out around each other at the speeds they were traveling seems to be the more likely culprit here.
Oh, there is the front of the motorcycle. Beyond the “mom”…a few yards up by the barrier. Damn. That looks terrible.
Out of thin air the ambulance techs materialize and begin their work. Seeing it is a child, and a live one, they scramble to get the right equipment. Even they were not expecting a child to have been involved in a high speed motorcycle incident. Those people know to expect just about anything. I handed her leg off to the female EMT and heard Ellianna ask her “are you going to kill me?”. What a strange question. First asking Cali if He was an angel and now asking the EMT that she has been so patiently waiting on if they were going to kill her. Kids… While the ambulance personnel work on her and the police start asking the relevant questions, We smoke a cigarette and begin to collect Ourselves. Silently going over in Our heads what We have just experienced. We remember almost simultaneously that We have Stephen in the car. After answering the basics to the police on scene about Our phone numbers and what We saw, We were released to leave. The night must go on. What kind of person…?
The rest of the night was almost melancholy for Cali and I. Stephen was fortunate enough to have been spared the spectacle and enjoyed himself on the dancefloor, while Cali and I sat at a table and sometimes recounted the events, sometimes just stared off unable to think of anything else. I was angry. So very angry. How could that “mom”…? What were they thinking? Is she gonna be ok? I had to take half of a xanax to calm down enough to sleep. If something like that had happened to MY daughter…at my or her fathers hands…? I become conflicted and depressed thinking about my own daughters and how quickly one bad decision can change someone’s life forever. Have I ever been “unsafe” with my kids? Depends on who is defining “unsafe”. Have either of my children been hurt while in my care? Yes, they have, and Im not sure a parent alive can say theirs haven’t. With kids, accidents happen… but they aren’t supposed to happen like that. Right? I watched Sariah fall off of a jungle gym onto her head one time. I thought for sure she was going to be seriously injured. Short of not allowing her to play at the park, I could not have avoided the accident. Luckily, she was fine. Not even phased…but it could have been so much worse, and I would have forever defended my decision to let her play at the park with her big sister. Would this “mom” defend her decision to put her 8 year old on the back of a bike and travel at deadly speeds on the interstate? We shall see.
After some serious detective work, We found her at the hospital. Well, We found her uncle. The state initially took custody of her and placed her in protective custody at the hospital, not allowing even family inside to see her until after she had had her first surgery to clean the debris from the wound. When We found the uncle the day after the accident, We exchanged phone numbers with him and expressed Our sincere interest in visiting her and making sure she was ok. he was a very nice man, and seemed genuinely concerned about his niece. The only thing he could tell Us about anything else at that time, was that the “mom”, his sister, had a minor surgery that morning, and was immediately arrested for child abuse. She was fine. The boyfriend had only bruises and was arrested at the scene. He was fine. Ellianna on the other hand…
The next day (We are at Thursday now), the uncle called Us and informed Us that he was allowed custody of her for now and that she could receive visitors in recovery if We were still interested in visiting her. At first when he called he seemed to think We might not remember him or the accident or might have changed Our minds about wanting to see if she was ok. Of course, We hadn’t, and We told him We would leave immediately and be right over to the hospital. I had been so stressed out about her well being and the whole incident that hearing We could visit her was such a relief. We got to the hospital and initially caught some guff from the nurses station because she was still in protective status. We gave her the code name Ellianna was under and were eventually allowed in to see her.
There was a nice woman dressed as “Mother Goose” reading her a story when We first walked in. Upon seeing that she had visitors, the woman wrapped up the story and left. Her grandparents, the “mom”‘s parents, were in the room also. The nurse made mention that perhaps there were too many people in the room, so the uncle and his wife left Us and the grandparents to talk and visit with the girl. I walked up to the bed asking the dumb question of “do you remember Us?”. She shakes her head yes in between dazed licks of her popsicle. I talk to her while tears are streaming down my face. I can’t stop them. She is so pretty. Lucky. Brave. I can’t believe she is doing so well. I ask her if We can take a picture with her, and the grandparents also agreed to it, so We saddled up on the bed:
This kid still hasn’t cried about it since the ambulance came. When asked where she hurts, she is very matter of fact about telling me and even tried to show me everywhere. We get more pieces of the story from the family, and help them straighten out some misinformation. She had been riding on the back of her “mom”‘s boyfriends bike. (W.T.F.?) They believed it was a group crash in which everyone riding together had been injured and wrecked…no no no senior, those 2 were the only 2 wrecked. It wasn’t unusual for the “mom” to leave the girl behind to go “party” and “hang out” whether with a neighbor or her brother. She had been asked/told many times before not to take the girl out on the bike. Mommy knows best? Maybe not this time. We also learn of the extent of her injuries. The tendons connecting the middle 3 toes with the foot were destroyed. Only the ones connected to the big toe and pinky toe were in tact. She will need skin and muscle grafts and the tendons will never be like normal. At least 2 more surgeries. She will never have feeling in the top of her foot, and it won’t ever look or behave normally. Her growing and resilient body will compensate for the injury and she is expected to walk and run and play again after serious physical therapy, but she will never be “normal”. And on top of that, its her “mom”‘s fault. As We leave the hospital, the grandparents ask Us if We would be willing to talk to their lawyer about the details as We saw them. “Of course We will, but We probably won’t be much help to your daughter. What We saw would actually probably hurt her.” I have nothing positive to say about the “mom”. Nothing.
After leaving the hospital, We were both at least slightly relieved to have some type of resolution to that terror. She is ok…basically.
We recently received information that the “mom” and boyfriend have both been seriously charged with child abuse with resulting bodily injury and are both facing 20 years each. My first reaction? Good. They deserve it. My next thought? One decision gone wrong has not only changed that girls life in a second, but she no longer has her “mom” and her “mom” no longer has her freedom. Im pretty positive that the “mom” didn’t get on the bike and intend to severely injure her daughter… Im pretty sure it was an accident. I sympathize on both sides… the whole damn thing sucks. The important thing to remember here… shit can happen to anyone at any time and you never know how it will change your life.
I can’t talk about this anymore right now, thats all I have about this anyway. Ill finish updating soon… I have some really cool stuff coming up next.